Tag Archives: google.org

Announcing Google.org’s new safety grants in Europe

Whether you’re online searching for answers, creating something new, or just looking for a little help, you should be able to do so with confidence that you and your family will stay safe. 


That’s why last year we opened the Google Safety Engineering Centre, our global hub for privacy engineering, in the heart of Europe. It’s there where we build many of the tools that protect the privacy and security of our users all over the world—and where last year we also announced the Google.org Impact Challenge on Safety, a fund to support organisations that are creating practical, real-world solutions when it comes to hate, extremism, and child safety, both online and offline. 


Today, we’re announcing the grant recipients: 29 organizations across 14 countries who are receiving grants totaling €10 million to fund their work in their home countries and across Europe. 


One of our grantees, the FARE Network, has developed tools to improve, understand and report extremist hate crime and discrimination in football. Another, Mama Chat, has built a chat service that gives free and anonymous support for women and girls in need. 


To see the full list of grantees, visit our website at g.co/safetyimpactchallenge.


Nearly 900 applications came in from all across the region. We would like to thank our panel of experts—including Member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies Laura Boldrini, journalist Kübra Gümüşay, Executive Director of ILGA Europe Evelyne Paradis, and many more—as well as partners the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and Ashoka, the largest global social network for entrepreneurs, who were chosen for their expertise on these important issues.  


Our focus on safety doesn’t end with our development of tools for Google users. It extends to our support for the important work of civil society and cross-sector experts, developers, and collaborators—everyone, in other words, who is invested in making the internet a safer place.

Supporting future history makers with NAACP

When I was in the 11th grade, I had the opportunity to write my first screenplay through NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) program. The program provides a platform for Black high school students—more than 300,000 to date—to bring their ideas to life and kickstart their journeys to becoming leaders in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), humanities, business, and the arts. 


ACT-SO gave me the confidence to pursue my dream of working in the entertainment and tech industry. After competing in NAACP’s local and national competitions, I wrote and directed my first short film, which I used in my portfolio to attend New York University. That eventually led me to my job as a Google Account Manager handling sales in the Media and Entertainment industry. 


Looking back, the greatest gift was that the program instilled values of community, excellence, and discipline in the participants. I’ve carried those values throughout my academic and professional career. I’ve found ways to build community and culture at Google, such as serving as the 2017-2018 Co-Lead of our Black Googler Network Bay Area chapter. 


This weekend, Google.org announced a $3 million grant and opportunities for Googlers to volunteer to help scale the ACT-SO program over the next three years. I sat down with National ACT-SO Director Larry Brown, Jr. to learn about how NAACP plans to expand the program to more students.


Can you give us an overview of ACT-SO, for people who aren’t familiar?


ACT-SO is an achievement program designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students. Students work throughout the year to develop a compelling project in one of 32 categories. After qualifying at their local ACT-SO contest, winners present their ideas at our national ACT-SO competition and compete for top scholarship prizes. The ACT-SO experience is unique and I dare say irreplaceable—it helps students build a support system for a lifetime of success. 


I understand that supporting the ACT-SO program is very personal to you. How did you first get involved with the program and what does your role include today?


As a high school student in Detroit, I competed in ACT-SO's Oratory competition. Although I never won, I was able to build a foundation of transferable skills that had a lasting impact. Now, as the leader of ACT-SO, I'm able to use what I learned as a contestant—active listening, critical thinking, and persuasion, to name a few skills—to create a memorable and impactful program that further enhances students' experiences, while in ACT-SO and beyond. I’ve also been able to create rewarding volunteer opportunities for my fellow ACT-SO alumni to give back to the program that benefited them. 


At Google, we often talk about moonshots—“anything is possible,” 10x ideas. What is ACT-SO’s moonshot, and how can a grant from Google.org and volunteer support from Googlers bring it to life? 


Over the years, we’ve heard from many alumni who, like you, point back to the ACT-SO competition as a pivotal moment in being recognized for their brilliance and potential. NAACP believes that every student, particularly students from underrepresented backgrounds, should be encouraged to pursue their academic excellence. That’s why, over time, we want to expand the ACT-SO program and make sure every student of African descent has access to a local ACT-SO competition. 


Google.org’s grant is a first step in moving closer to that goal. We were on a trajectory to engage 30,000 students over the next three years, but with Google’s support, we’re planning to expand to new chapters and engage almost 70,000 students. We’ll be hiring new staff, offering more travel stipends to students, and keeping alumni engaged. We’re also thrilled that members of the Black Googler Network and [email protected] have committed to volunteer as mentors and judges at the local and national level. Having Googlers involved will give our students the opportunity to meet new role models and begin building relationships in the tech industry. 


NAACP’s vision is a society where all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race. What role can computer science play in moving closer to that outcome? 


NAACP wants to put students on a path to high-wage careers that will make an impact on their lives, families, and communities, which is why we’re investing additional funds in our program’s science and technology tracks. The data shows that more than half of all jobs require technical skills, but a majority of students still aren’t learning these skills in school. Across the country, millions of technical jobs are projected to go unfilled, yet women and minorities are drastically underrepresented in technical fields. We believe that computer science education opportunities can be transformative in the lives of young people, and in particular, young people who do not have equal access and regularly face barriers to learning computer science. 


I don’t want to forget the role that artists have in computer science. I believe that artists and scientists have a lot in common. Technologists, scientists and artists share an inquisitiveness and drive to better understand the world through their work. Plus, computer scientists need great designers. 


What’s one way that we, as a society, can better support Black and Latino students on their educational journeys?


If we believe that all students deserve the chance to make history, it’s critical that we lift up diverse representations of excellence and achievement. For example, we know that Black and Latino students have equal interest in CS education, but they face social barriers such as a lack of role models and learning materials that reflect their lived experiences. Only one in four underrepresented students report “often” seeing people “doing CS” in television shows or movies, and only about one in six among them report “often” seeing people like them. Everyone can help challenge these barriers by lifting up stories of achievement that are not traditionally represented. 


ACT-SO has several famous alumni. Can you share one of your favorite ACT-SO testimonies? 


There are many alumni that come to mind, one is Anthony Burrell—a creative director who's choreographed for artists like Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Rihanna and Katy Perry. His work has been featured on some of the largest stages in the world. But he's also used his platform to give back to young people and create a community of dancers. At his Anthony Burrell Center for Dance in Atlanta, dancers learn the fundamentals of various dance forms. He ensures students have access to dance education and training by providing scholarships for students who need assistance.


For the past five years, Anthony has worked with ACT-SO as the choreographer of the annual ACT-SO Awards Ceremony. He elevates our students and provides opportunities for them to connect as professionals—some of them have even been hired to perform with notable talent after their ACT-SO experience. In addition to his own career in dance, Anthony's participation in ACT-SO has given other students the opportunity to create a pathway to their personal success.


The Most Searched: A celebration of Black history makers

Search trends can help us understand what people are interested in and what has endured—the people and events that have captivated our attention over time. 

Last year, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day approached, our team had a hunch that his monumental “I Have A Dream Speech” might be the most searched speech in the United States in Google Trends history. It prompted us to analyze 15 years’ worth of U.S. search trends data to find out.

Sure enough, it was.

This revelation was an electrifying moment for our team. It pushed us to explore more aggregate Search trends data to identify other Black icons, events and movements that were the most searched within a specific category or field in the U.S. 

Here’s what we found: Dozens of Black Americans and the historical movements they led were searched more than any other person or event in a category. These range from historical milestones like the Montgomery bus boycott to iconic figures like Maya Angelou to the most searched Pulitzer Prize winner—Kendrick Lamar, for his album DAMN.

That’s why, in celebration of Black History Month, we’re releasing a film tribute to these iconic moments, online and as an ad during the 2020 Grammy Awards. 

“Most Searched” tells a powerful story about how the Black community has helped shape and influence American culture. It also shows the tremendous collective interest in our history.

We're proud to celebrate the people and events in this film, and also hope that it inspires future history makers. In an effort to help build the next generation of Black leaders, scholars, artists and technologists, we’re awarding a $3 million Google.org grant to support the NAACP's Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) program. As part of this, we're connecting Googlers to ACT-SO volunteering opportunities. ACT-SO provides a platform for Black high school students—more than 300,000 to date—to bring their ideas to life and kickstart their journeys to becoming leaders in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), humanities, business, and the arts. This initiative joins previous commitments to support organizations and programs that help Black and Latino students develop the technical skills they need to succeed in career and life.

To learn more about these individuals and our celebration of Black History Month, visit g.co/blackhistorymonth.

Supporting AI skills training in Molenbeek, Belgium

MolenGeek started in 2015 in Molenbeek, Belgium, as a coding school for anyone to learn digital skills. But unlike many other schools, MolenGeek is driven by a social mission of fostering inclusion, integration and community development in this culturally diverse suburb of Brussels. 

In five years, it’s become a co-working space for young people from all backgrounds, enabling them to network and share their experiences. Out of Molengeek's community of 800 active members, 195 people from predominantly underprivileged backgrounds have gone through entrepreneurship skills training, and 35 new startups have been built and grown out of their incubator program. We’ve been proud to help support their mission since 2015.

Today, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, visited MolenGeek to announce an additional Google.org grant of $250,000—over EUR 200,000—to expand its coding school and increase the community’s access to new kinds of digital skills training. MolenGeek will use the funds to develop a new six-month content module focused on artificial intelligence and data analytics. This is part of MolenGeek’s longer-term plan to open a second hub in Brussels later this year, which will include an incubator dedicated to the needs of AI-focused startups, as well as a six-month AI training program. In addition to funding, Google AI experts will also provide MolenGeek with ongoing mentorship and opportunities for Googlers to volunteer.

“MolenGeek’s mission to make sure technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation is accessible to everyone is personal to me, and to the work we do at Google,” said Sundar. “Increasingly that means helping people get the skills they need to succeed in a digital world. We’re proud to support MolenGeek as it expands its digital trainings, including a new module focused on artificial intelligence, to give more people the tools for success.”

Sundar visits MolenGeek

“It’s important that we offer the younger generations a way to invest in themselves,” says Ibrahim Ouassari, co-founder of MolenGeek. “As the momentum is picking up, we are grateful that we can once again count on Google to lend their support and knowledge to the many potential entrepreneurs who look to MolenGeek as a gateway to the tech sector and a springboard for their future careers.”

And this grant support is especially important when it comes to AI, one of the most exciting technologies humanity is working on today. We’re already seeing its potential to change lives, from helping doctors better detect breast cancer, forecast floods in India, to supporting nonprofits applying AI tools to address issues like illegal logging and plastic waste reduction. To help more Belgian businesses make the most of this technology, we’ll be expanding our Machine Learning Checkup tool to small and medium businesses here in Belgium, as well as 10 other markets in Europe. 

With such a huge scope for positive change, countries must invest now in reskilling and education. It all starts in communities like Molenbeek, in organizations like this one, who believe not just in technology, but in the people creating it.

Google.org Fellows bring transparency to local jail data nationwide

In recent years, we’ve seen a bipartisan focus on criminal justice reform in the U.S., but to measure progress—and understand the breadth of the issue—we need data on who is being incarcerated and why. The last nationwide jail census was conducted in 2013, and the federal government’s most recent estimate of the U.S. jail population is from 2017. Because it takes so long to get up-to-date information on jail populations, Vera--an organization working to improve justice systems--started a project to collect the data themselves. 

In Our Backyards looks at jail population data from state and local government websites to understand who’s behind bars simply because they can’t afford bail, or who’s being charged with a non-criminal offense like unpaid child support. As part of our work using data science and technology to help solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges, Google.org contributed to the project with a $4 million grant. Additionally, 12 Google.org Fellows spent six months doing full-time pro-bono work on the project. 

Today, Vera released the results of this project: People In Jails in 2019. We learned that while the U.S. has made strides in prison reform, rural jail occupancy is actually on the rise. Cities like Chicago, New York and Philadelphia are reducing jail populations, but over the last several years, rural counties and smaller cities have sent more people to jail, driving an increase in the nation’s total jail population. 

 I sat down with Google.org Fellow, Aria Ashton, who participated in the Fellowship with Vera.


What exactly did your team set out to achieve during the Fellowship with Vera?

Our goal was to support Vera in building a nationwide jail monitoring and alerting system that shines a light on local justice systems in the United States. The ambition was to get a full picture of how many people are in county jails in near real-time, and for what reasons. Compiling this kind of data allows Vera to derive data-based insights about how county jails are being used. For example, in one county, 50 percent of the jailed population was incarcerated with bond amounts under $500. If we presume that these are individuals who would otherwise be free but cannot afford a $500 bail amount, does this mean that half of the beds in this particular jail are low-level offenders below the poverty line? 

What motivated you to spend six months working full-time with Vera on this Fellowship project?

My brother spent a lot of his life incarcerated. He’d always been troubled with mental illness which led to drug dependency. If it weren’t for these two factors, my brother wouldn’t have been incarcerated at all. One year, after spending six years in a correctional facility in California, he was released to a halfway house where he eventually succumbed to his addiction and died. At this point I began to wonder, “How many brothers and sisters, how many mothers and fathers are cycling in and out of the system because they can’t find proper treatment for mental health and addiction issues?” Using jails and prisons to address mental illness and addiction is unfortunately widespread, and I hope our work with Vera will put an end to these practices.

Aria

Aria with her brother.

What do you want the world to know about the Vera project?

Society is losing so much because of the lack of visibility into the use of county jails. I hope that when the data is shared, and personal stories are told, everyone gets a sense that this is a black box and someone needs to shine a light on it. There are so many people who are lost in this system. Even though Vera understands this world holistically, they couldn’t get an accurate picture of the jail population through existing data.

How did Google help move this ambitious project along? 

First, we had a ton of technical expertise on our Google.org Fellowship team—engineering resources can go a long way toward developing a technical solution like this. Second, we hadn’t been in this space for as long as Vera, so we brought a fresh perspective. We didn’t have the same assumptions, so we were able to question approaches and offer new solutions.

What surprised you about the Fellowship experience and this project in particular?

When you think about the millions of people who go in and out of jails, inevitably you start to wonder what their stories might be. Many have lost their jobs, can’t pay bills, and no longer have access to their children. Immersing ourselves with Vera and this project drove home that this system has a real human cost.Many corporations are trying to raise awareness about  social justice issues, but awareness doesn’t always translate into action or advance a cause. This Fellowship is a “put your money where your mouth is” program. I hope the Google.org Fellowship can inspire more corporations to do the same.

What did you learn from the Fellowship experience and how have you applied that to your life?

First, I’m proud of the work the Fellowship team did. I’ll have that with me for the rest of my life. Working on something that really matters made me become the most efficient and effective version of myself. Second, I met a lot of people who are involved in criminal justice reform and learned about the ways advocates are trying to change the system. I realized the importance of my voice as a person who hasn’t been incarcerated but has been directly impacted by the dysfunction of the system. By raising my voice, I can perhaps help policymakers and ordinary citizens understand how much suffering this system causes. As a result of the contacts I made doing this kind of work, I am taking part in restorative justice events in prisons, so that I can do as much as I can to drive change and hopefully save other families from bleak futures, punctuated by tragedies.

Thanking all first responders

Growing up, my next door neighbor was a Boston firefighter. Like many kids, I was inspired by heroic portrayals of firefighters battling flames and carrying people to safety. What affected me most, however, was watching my neighbor leave his house every morning, prepared to help those in need. This dedication to helping others stuck with me.

It’s been twenty years since I first joined the fire department, and I’ve served as an on-call firefighter ever since. I’ve worked alongside EMTs, police officers, and community volunteers who on a daily basis are answering the call for help. While the newsworthy crises are part of the job, it’s also the less recognized, everyday moments—from replacing batteries in an elderly resident's smoke alarm to calming a child after an allergic reaction—that are essential elements of this work.

Today we’re recognizing our nation’s first responders for all the ways they dedicate their lives to helping others. A challenging, but often unrecognized, aspect of this work is the preparation required ahead of potential disasters. Therefore, Google.org is giving a $1 million grant to Team Rubiconto build out teams of volunteers, most of them military veterans, who will work alongside first responders to build out disaster preparedness operations.

Jake Wood, co-founder and CEO of Team Rubicon, explains the impact of this grant: "This funding enables us to build disaster preparedness in cities across the U.S. so we can mobilize to help others on their worst day. This includes everything from training in critical skill sets such as damage assessment, roof-tarping and chainsaw operations to incident command and leadership development—all so we can better serve our communities and neighbors affected by disaster."

Investing in preparedness is a key priority for Google.org as studies have shown that for every $1 spent on preparedness, approximately $6 are saved in the post-disaster recovery. Through this Team Rubicon grant and Google’s continued Crisis Responseefforts, we aim to support the work of first responders and the strength of their communities.

The work of Team Rubicon is close to my heart. Some of my closest friends and colleagues have been volunteering with them for many years and I’m grateful to be a part of supporting the incredible work they’re doing. Working within the first responder community has been one of the most meaningful aspects of my life. I continue to be inspired by the everyday selflessness of those I get the chance to work with. On behalf of Google, I want to say “thank you first responders for your daily dedication to help.”

Media literacy for Asia’s next generation

When I served as U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, it often struck me that young people there had vastly more access to news and information than I did when I first lived in that country 20 years earlier—a sign of how things can change for the better from generation to generation.  


The internet has enabled people in Vietnam and across Asia Pacific to learn, connect and express themselves in ways we couldn’t have imagined in the past. We need to keep expanding those opportunities, but we also need to help the next generation explore the internet with confidence as they come online.


As Google marks UNESCO Global Media and Information Literacy Week, we’re building on our efforts to promote media literacy and combat misinformation. We’re constantly working to make a difference with our own products, like improving our algorithms to prioritize authoritative sourcesand original reporting in search results. At the same time, through a $10 million Google News Initiative media literacy campaign funded by Google.org, we’re supporting expert organizations across the region as they develop new approaches for teaching media literacy. 


In Southeast Asia, this includes programs run by the Indonesian Anti-Slander Society and the Child and Youth Media Institute in Thailand to create video teaching tools for local schools, building on a pilot program we developed with the University of Hong Kong. And today we took the next step, announcing that Google.org will support a new initiative run by the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication in the Philippines. The funding will enable the AIJC to hold “school summits” across the country, training 300 high school teachers so they can teach media literacy to around 9,000 students each year—helping them tell the difference between misinformation and reliable news online.


We asked Ramon Tuazon, President of the AIJC, to tell us a bit more.  


In 2017, the Philippines became the first country in Asia to make media and information literacy (MIL) part of its high school curriculum. Why is this so important?  


When we first started discussing adding MIL to the curriculum in 2013, we knew we had to address misrepresentation and propaganda in traditional media as well as social media. But we also had to deal with the new challenges the internet has created, including the fact that young people are becoming media literate online before they learn ethics and responsibility in how to use technology.  


With the new campaign, what do you hope students and teachers get out of the experience? 

I hope the students gain new perspectives and better understand how to verify news, deal with their biases and be sensitive to misinformation and disinformation. For teachers, I hope the training helps them learn new, creative and engaging teaching approaches.  Over the long term, I hope both teachers and students will be able to go out and challenge misinformation on social media and other platforms.  

What’s next after this initial campaign? 

We’ll be working closely with the Department of Education to continue improving how we teach media and information literacy as part of the curriculum, including through new tools and better teacher training.  Our challenge is to expand this new initiative nationwide.

Let’s build the way to a better Bay

Back in 2015, the Hidden Genius Project received a $500,000 Google.org grant to provide training and mentorship to young black men in the Bay Area. The grant went toward expanding their computer science bootcamp, and to break down the barriers that prevent many young black men from getting into the tech industry. Hidden Genius Project was a winner of our second Bay Area Impact Challenge, and they're now serving 1,500 students a year, up from 300 when they applied to the Challenge. Today, we’re kicking off our third and largest Challenge so we can support other Bay Area nonprofits as they work to improve our local communities.


In total, we’ll donate $10 million in grants to 35 nonprofits dedicated to making the Bay Area a place where everyone can thrive. From now until November 8, organizations across the Bay Area are invited to submit their proposals. The  boldest, brightest and most impactful ideas will be selected as finalists. Once the finalists are announced, we’ll come together as a community for a public vote on the People’s Choice Award. The winner will receive a $1 million grant from Google.org. And our panel of judges will select four other top submissions to each receive $1 million in funding.
bay area impact challenge judges-01.jpg

For over 20 years, we’ve partnered closely with nonprofits, supporting those who are on the frontlines of addressing the Bay Area’s most pressing needs. Since 2014, we’ve given $250 million in grants to nonprofits and we recently made a $1 billion commitment to help address the shortage of affordable housing options in the Bay Area.  


There are so many nonprofits making an impact across the Bay Area—tell us about your work, and submit your proposal by November 8.  

How we’re helping small businesses succeed

Owning a small business often means wearing many hats, and I know this firsthand. When I started my winery, I found I was not only a winemaker but also an accountant, marketer, sales person and tech support provider all at once. There was never enough time! Now that I’m at Google, I apply the lessons I learned every day as our team works to build products and solutions designed to meet the needs of small businesses.

Starting a small business can be a pathway to economic prosperity for both business owners and their communities. In fact, 67 cents out of every dollar spent at a local business stays in the local economy. Through our products like Search and Google Ads and Grow with Google, our initiative to create economic opportunity across the U.S., we’re committed to helping small businesses succeed. Being online is the way to win. Today we are releasing a new report that shows how Americans are searching for local businesses, and I can tell you that there is tremendous momentum. In fact, we’ve seen 350 times more search interest in "local" + "near me" than there was 10 years ago. 

To deepen our commitment to small businesses, Google.org is making a $10 million pledge to help low-income and underrepresented entrepreneurs start new businesses via access to training and capital.

Almost half of all libraries in the U.S. provide assistance to entrepreneurs looking to start a business of their own. That’s why the first grant will benefit the American Library Association (ALA) to support entrepreneurship centers at 10 libraries and to help libraries across the U.S. develop new offerings for small business owners. The grant will also support the ALA’s efforts to develop a guide for libraries on building their own entrepreneurship programs, including recommendations for better serving entrepreneurs from diverse communities and underrepresented backgrounds. This grant builds on our ongoing support for libraries, including the $1 million in funding that Grow with Google gave ALA earlier this year to help libraries across the U.S. provide communities with digital skills. The collaboration has already supported 130 libraries across 18 states and will continue to all 50 states. We are proud to be continuing our work with this important organization.

Google.org’s $10 million pledge is not the only way we’re investing in the success of American small businesses. In June, we introduced Google for Small Business - a website that offers free personalized plans for small businesses so they know which Google tools will help them reach more customers and work more efficiently. 

This work is important to me, both in my role at Google and as a former small business owner. Today, I’m back in my hometown of Dallas, Texas to share this news and to see some of Texas’s finest small business owners in action.

As a Googler, Texas native, woman and former small business owner, I am so proud to work alongside entrepreneurs and help American small businesses find new success in the 21st century. 

Take a look at our report below to check out how people across the U.S. are searching for small businesses.

Small Business Infographic

Google.org helps Nesta bring skills training to trade unions

Throughout history, technology has changed the nature of work. This has created new opportunities and jobs, but there are also concerns about technology’s impact on job security and displacement. Google.org’s $2 million grant to Nesta, a global innovation foundation, will set up partnerships with trade unions in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium. The program will provide training to workers whose jobs are changing rapidly as a result of automation or digitalization—for example, people working in administrative roles, manufacturing and the service industry. 


Nesta will deliver training through a new program called FutureFit, which will help workers get the skills they need to adapt to changes in their workplace. Using training methods such as nano learning—where trainings are broken down into small chunks—and gamification, the program will shed light on learner behavior and motivation. This evidence will be used to inform future training.


While research from McKinsey shows that automation can actually increase the total number of jobs in the countries covered by this project, a recent poll showed that 40 percent of the Swedish workforce worries about not getting access to the training they need to compete in the future job market. And the OECD found that people in jobs most at risk from automation do less training than workers in jobs at low risk. 


The Nordics and Benelux countries are the perfect places to try Nesta’s techniques and build on Google.org’s engagement with nonprofits to equip people with the skills needed for the future labor market. The countries in the region are digital frontrunners, and have a tradition of investing in lifelong learning. We know this from Google initiatives we’ve introduced to the region: In Sweden, we toured the country with the national Swedish Public Employment Service to train thousands of people in digital skills. In the Netherlands, we worked with the trade union CNV to re-skill workers in transport and logistics. And in Denmark, we teamed up with the major trade union HK to educate administrative workers as “digital change agents.” Across Europe, we’ve now trained five million people in new skills. Since May 2018, we’ve also been building on the Digital Frontrunners program from Nesta, a collaborative program to help senior policymakers create a more inclusive digital economy.


In Finland, Nesta will run a pilot program with The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), Finland’s largest labour confederation. The program will focus on helping workers whose professions are undergoing high rates of change due to technology, such as administrative roles or manufacturing. SAK President Jarkko Eloranta put it this way: “A third of employees in Finland find modern technology a source of anxiety at work, so learning opportunities of this kind should be part of regular duties at all workplaces. Employees need new digital skills to embrace smart technology at work.”


We’re committed to providing one hundred million EUR in grants in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the next five years to better understand the changing nature of work, and to support nonprofits that help people navigate a changing labour market. The Nesta program will be a great addition to that effort, and we hope the grant will help to ensure that workers are equipped with the skills needed to support them in changes to their everyday work lives.